Reading landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx

A friend recently reminded me about Roberto "Burle" Marx, the modernist Brazilian landscape architect. I love the Copacabana beach mosaics and mural but had never explored his landscape projects. Working alongside modernist architects, Marx brought a painter's perspective to landscape design and a passion for reconnecting urban settings with the natural world. Organic, asymmetrical plantings brought colors and textures and curves to the rigid geometries of modernist buildings. He developed expertise in native Brazilian species and preferred massed plantings of single varieties of plants. Roberto Burle Marx | Cavanellas | c Malcolm Raggett

One of my interests in landscape architecture is the ways in which viewer movement and changing perspective are taken into consideration. As a viewer walks through a garden, form, rhythm and line shift. Anticipating how glass installations will work with movement. His landscapes were also photographed from above as they are seen from the buildings. These top-down views show stunning compositions of organic and modernist, structural forms rendered in plants. Marx incorporated several fantastic mosaic murals into his landscapes, making yet another point of connection for me with this amazing portfolio of work.

The pavements along the Copacabana beachfront are fantastic.

pavement along Copocabana | Roberto Burle Marx | c Malcolm Raggett

The pavement images made me think about the curved lines and inter-related forms in Connect 2.0. More about Connect 2.0 here. Of course now I want to see Connect 2.0 realized in grayscale glass...whoa.

Connect 2.2 detail | glass, hardware, grout | c Heather Hancock 2012


The full set of project images can be seen at Malcolm Raggett Photograpy.